Britain is preparing for a possible polar freeze this winter due to La Niña, a cyclical weather phenomenon triggered by below-average sea temperatures. It is likely to bring with it frosty memories of the 2010 “Big Freeze”, when temperatures plummeted to -13°C in parts of the UK following one of the most powerful La Niñas on record.
Lloyds Bank Home Insurance received over 900 claims for frozen pipes in the aftermath of the 2010 Freeze and is therefore encouraging homeowners to take steps to counter the cold.
Tim Downes, Senior Claims Manager at Lloyds Bank Home Insurance, said: “This winter is shaping up to be a cold one, increasing the likelihood of frozen pipes. Keeping your heating on for a few extra hours overnight to protect your system from freezing probably costs no more than a luxury hot chocolate – if it saves thousands of pounds in the event of a pipe freeze, that’s a price worth paying!”
Lloyds Bank Home Insurance is offering the following tips to handle the freeze with ease:
- Set your thermostat to a minimum temperature around 12°C, even overnight – the heating costs are justified if it avoids a costly pipe freeze. Many thermostats have a winter option that routinely heats the system to keep pipes at the right temperature.
- Disconnect and drain all hosepipes, sprinkler systems and water features that are connected to external water outlets.
- Insulate exposed pipes in basements, attics, garages, kitchen cabinets and on the outside of the house. Use UL-listed heat tape, or foam rubber insulation where pipes are exposed to cold moving air.
- If you’re going on holiday it might be worth shutting off and draining your water system (ask your provider for information on how to do this) or asking a neighbour to visit while you’re away.
- Be sure to have your Home Insurance details to hand in case the worst happens. Lloyds Bank Home Insurance can provide customers with useful information, such as the number for a reputable plumber, through its 24-hour Emergency Homeline.